Sunday, May 13, 2012

Columbia University Restricts Access To Campus During Obama's May 14, 2012 Campaign Speech At Barnard College's Graduation Ceremony

If you’re a neighborhood resident who wishes to protest against Columbia University’s West Harlem/Manhattanville business school construction project, an anti-war student who wishes to protest against the endless U.S. war in Afghanistan or an Occupy Wall Street supporter who wishes to protest against Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs, you apparently won’t be allowed by the Columbia Administration to protest on Columbia’s campus on May 14, 2012 during 2012 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign speech at Barnard College’s 2012 graduation ceremony. As a May 10, 2012 memorandum from Columbia University Vice- President James McShane to “Members of the Columbia Community,” for example, stated:

“On Monday, May 14,…Barack Obama will be on the Morningside Campus to deliver the…address at the Barnard College ceremony, held on the South Field Lawns at 12:30 p.m. This message provides important information regarding the extensive security measures that will impact lower campus operations and access.

“Please know the logistics outlined here may change at any point, subject to White House and Secret Service discretion. Updates will be posted to the Columbia homepage. We ask for your cooperation and flexibility given these extraordinary circumstances. As a precaution, please carry your University ID card with you at all times on Monday.
"All gates south of 117th Street, Low Plaza, College Walk, South Field and the following buildings must be vacated and locked down. There will be no entry or activity permitted.
“Lower Campus
“Journalism, Furnald, Lerner Hall, Carman, Butler Library, John Jay, Wallach, Hartley and Hamilton
“Upper Campus
“Low Library, Kent, Dodge Hall and Miller Theatre
“Entry to lower campus and its buildings will be limited on Monday. Those permitted to enter lower campus will be required to pass through magnetometer screening. Large bags and liquids will not be allowed. Access will be granted to the below groups at the locations specified.
“Columbia University Faculty or Staff Reporting to Work on Lower Campus
“Faculty or staff must have a University ID card and University-issued letter to verify they work in a lower campus building. If you have been instructed to report to work, but have not yet received this documentation, please see your immediate supervisor.
Lerner Hall and Print Services staff: 115th Street and Broadway, Lerner Hall gate
Hamilton staff: 115th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, Taint gate
“Upon entry to these buildings, staff will not be permitted to exit onto campus.
“Barnard College Ceremony Participants
“Degree candidates and members of the academic procession: Lerner Hall, Broadway lobby entrance
“General Admission ticket holders: 114th Street: Carman and John Jay gates
“Guests with Disabilities, Press and VIPs: 115th Street and Broadway, Lerner Hall gate
"In addition to areas specified here, there may be intermittent street and walkway closures during the President’s arrival and exit.
"Street Closures
"No parking will be permitted on 116th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive. Additionally, there will be no parking on Amsterdam Avenue from 114th to 125th Street.

"No parking will be permitted on the east side of Broadway from 114th to 120th Street.
"There will be no parking on West 114th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. Additionally, this street will be closed to vehicular traffic.
"Pedestrian traffic on 114th Street will be restricted to the south side of the street.
"Sidewalk traffic along campus on both Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue will be restricted, from 114th to 117th Street.
"Campus Closures
"The 116th Street gates, College Walk and Low Plaza will be closed.
"The Amsterdam Avenue overpass will be closed.
"The Bookstore, Butler Library, Dodge Hall, Furnald, Carman, John Jay, Hartley and Wallach will all be closed.
"Hamilton, Journalism and Kent will be closed, except for personnel already identified.
"The Intercampus Shuttle 116th Street, Northbound stop will be moved to 117th Street.
"Administrative and Student Mail delivery, as well as external couriers to lower campus will be suspended and the Lerner Hall Student Package Center will be closed Monday.
"Access to Dodge and Kent Halls will be restricted as described above. All other buildings on upper campus will follow normal University operations on Monday….”

Coincidentally, the Barnard College president who invited the 2012 Democratic presidential candidate to give a campaign speech at the 2012 Barnard College graduation ceremony, Debora Spar, also sits on the board of directors of Wall Street’s Goldman Sachs investment banking firm; and a vice-chair of Columbia University’s board of trustees, Esta Stecher, is also the CEO of Wall Street’s Goldman Sachs Bank USA.